U.S. Planning and Realities of Post-War Iraq
Yosef Jabareen, Lecturer, Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Charles Patterson, Senior Associate, C&O Resources, Inc.; Former Program Officer, Future of Iraq Project; David J. Nash, President, B.E.&K., Inc.'s Government Group; Former Director, Iraq Project and Contracting Office (Baghdad); Harvey M. Sapolsky, Professor of Public Policy and Organization Department of Political Science
Judging from these panelists, the more intimate your experience of Iraq, the more optimistic you are likely to be. David J. Nash was fully immersed. He organized the multi-billion dollar reconstruction effort of Iraq's infrastructure in 45 days. His 2800 projects ran the gamut from new power plants and water companies, to schools and medical clinics. If that wasn't enough, he had to use peacetime contracting rules and contend with terrorist attacks. "Some people were afraid we'd fail, some feared we'd succeed, and they'd get together and make my job interesting," says Nash. Yet, in spite of the obstacles, including the ongoing insurgency, Nash believes the "future is bright."
Charles N. Patterson engaged with Iraqis in envisioning a Saddam-free future -- before the invasion. The "Future of Iraq Project" brought together diaspora Iraqis and Kurdish Iraqis with U.S. government agencies in the summer of 2002 to envision a political transition. Seventeen working groups tackled such questions as what to do with the large Baath security forces, and how to introduce democratic ideals. The problem was not only a lack of consensus but conflicted U.S. intentions. "Voices in the administration 'sold the idea that Iraq liberated would immediately embrace democracy, modernize and be at peace." Today, Patterson believes "a lot of things have begun to go right after a bad start."
Harvey Sapolsky states the U.S. handled the war effectively but that "when the war ended, things seemed to fall apart." Sapolsky participated in a Defense Science Board review of war planning and post-war administration. We've "handicapped ourselves in two ways," says Sapolsky. "We don't have a colonial service 'so no one's planning to stay a long time," and "we don't have a contracting system to run reconstruction during an insurgency."
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Yosef Jabareen received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at Technion, Israel and earned a Masters in Design Studies at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He was a Krietman Fellow at Ben Gurion University and Rothschild Fellow. He received the Tami Steinmetz Award for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University. At MIT, his research focuses on efforts to create trust among different ethnic communities.
Prior to joining C&O Resources, an international consulting and business development group, Charles Patterson worked in the State Department, specializing in Middle Eastern issues. He also served in the Bureau of Near East and South Asia Affairs, and in Italy, Turkey, Tunisia, Nigeria and Malta. He was a coordinator of the State Department's task force during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Boston University in International Relations.
Rear Adm. David J. Nash, P.E., USN (Ret.) directed the Iraq Program Management Office, and the Project and Contract Office for the Coalition Provisional Authority. He oversaw $18.4 billion in reconstruction projects funded by the U.S. government. In September, 2004 he became president of B.E.&K.'s Government Group. BE&K Inc. is one of the Southeast's largest privately held companies, with operations in pulp and paper construction, power/cogeneration construction, and process industrial and manufacturing construction. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff Construction Services. Nash has almost four decades of experience in building, design and program management.
Harvey Sapolsky has served as a consultant to the Commission on Government Procurement, The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Naval War College, the Office of Naval Research, the Rand Corporation, Draper Laboratory, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He received his B.A.from Boston University and earned an M.P.A.and Ph.D. at Harvard University.
Host(s): School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Event date: 02/14/2005
MIT World -- special events and lectures